Markey Joins His Colleagues in Passing Repeat Offender Legislation
(BOSTON) – On Wednesday night, State Representative Christopher M. Markey (D- Dartmouth) joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing legislation that modifies current law governing cases of repeat criminal offenders – bringing habitual criminals to justice and ensuring the security of our Commonwealth.
“We cannot allow habitual offenders to terrorize and victimize our friends, loved ones and public servants,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said. “This legislation represents a powerful deterrent to those who would commit crime repeatedly.”
“I am pleased that this legislation, 10 years in the making, has passed the House overwhelmingly, and with bi-partisan support,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “‘Melissa’s Bill’ will further ensure the safety of all of the citizens of the Commonwealth from dangerous, habitual offenders.”
“With the passage of this legislation, the House has insured that repeat violent recidivists will remain in custody and won't harm the public any further. The Speaker insisted the House address threats to public safety and House members agreed with him that this was a top priority,” said Representative Eugene L. O’Flaherty (D-Chelsea), the House chairman of the Joint Judiciary Committee.
Representative Markey, who gave his maiden speech to the House in support of the bill, cited his experiences as a prosecutor in his decision to vote in the affirmative. He addressed Les Gosule, whose daughter Melissa was murdered 12 years ago, and Charles Maguire, whose brother Woburn Police Officer John Maguire was slain earlier this year saying, "I personally am very sorry for your losses. I can’t bring them back, and no one can bring back your loved ones." Markey went on to tout the bill for providing a balance that addresses the rights of the accused versus the need to maintain public safety. "This bill provides the balance we need in our judicial system. The lawyers, the prosecutors need the sharpest tools to make sure the most violent offenders are taken care of. Tonight we are sharpening our tools. We are casting our net to the most violent offenders. In my childhood, I would hear my parents say 'enough is enough'. Tonight, we are telling the most violent offenders in this commonwealth 'enough is enough'."
Under this new legislation, habitual offenders would have to serve 2/3 of their sentence, rather than half, before becoming eligible for parole. Habitual offenders sentenced under any major crimes indicated would not be eligible for parole, work release or furlough, nor would their sentence be eligible for reduction or suspension.
Furthermore, habitual offender status is realized when an offender, after being convicted of any two major crimes, is convicted of a third major crime. Major crimes include murder, manslaughter, rape, child enticement, kidnapping, and others. The offender would be ineligible for parole upon conviction of a third offense and be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for the maximum term provided by law.
The legislation also indicates that a sentence imposed under this section shall run from and after any sentence that the defendant is serving at the time of sentencing.
No person shall be considered a habitual offender based upon any offense for which such person was adjudicated a delinquent child.